Big Maroon Wheelchairinghood
Has eyesight that is far from good
It was, the reader may recall
Quite awful, too, when she was small
When wolves tied grannies up with rope
And lay in bed … in wait … in hope
For little girls to come along
Naively thinking nothing’s wrong
When manners taught one not to cheek
A relative with strange physique
Though hairy ears and paws and snout
Should raise a … hesitate of doubt
It’s clear the woodsman had it right
Insisting that she checked her sight
The eye-chart on the doctor’s wall –
She couldn’t see the thing at all!
The glasses cost a pretty price
But wearing them was not so nice
The lenses magnified a lot
They teased her: “What big eyes you’ve got!”
The riding school announced “Expelled!”
And though she hollered, screamed and yelled
Their policy excluded specs
A rigid rule they wouldn’t flex
A piece of broken reading glass
Could put an end to riding class
And no one wants a legal suit
So Red – she got the riding boot
Then Little Red “Big Red” became
And Riding Hood fell from her name
No longer nicknamed for her size
But for her Brobdingnagian eyes
Her ageing body hadn’t shrunk
A monument to eating junk
For eighty years and then some more
She put to use her ample jaw
She wolfed the crackling on the pork
Until she could no longer walk
Then bought herself a walking frame
And only had herself to blame
When that collapsed beneath her weight
Because of all the stuff she ate
Depressed, she guzzled even more
Until she got stuck in the door
Quite unlike Silv’rilocks’s frame
Which earned her literary fame
She hadn’t wizened – not a jot
Nor could she totter – not a tot!
A chair became her transport mode
It also doubled as commode
Convenience that saved much time
And later aids our pantomime
One morning when the sun was out
She cooked herself some sauerkraut
With quite predictable effects
Embarrassing in all respects
The noises and the noxious smell
A foretaste of the seventh hell
Brought peals of protest, moans and jeers
And Silv’rilocks burst into tears
It’s clear that when you’re deaf as wood –
And wouldn’t listen if you could –
No warning sounds prepare the mind
For stenches of the cabbage kind
“One wretched sense still serves me well
Those Fairy Fates can go to hell!
I can’t stay here – that stink offends –
I think I’ll visit three old friends.”
And off she tottered but the door
Was blocked by those who, heretofore,
Could barely catch a common cold
But now would chase Olympic gold
And so this flatus-fleeing wench
Jumped through the window (Phew! Still French!)
And scuttled off across the lawn
Avoiding old nurse Matterhorn
Who had much bigger fish to fry
A panicked mob to pacify
“Another dangerous stampede
Of geriatrics I don’t need
Third time this week, my Buttercup
There’s nowhere we can lock you up
To have that dreadful gas confined
Could make a person lose one’s mind
If you don’t stop the sauerkraut
We’re gonnahave to kick you out
This place is tough enough to run
Without your bottom set to ‘stun’!”
When talestars get too old to roam
The Fairy Stories Old Age Home
Is where they shuffle off to play
And, though immortal, fade away
But fading would have been a boon
To those assailed by Big Maroon
Whose foul and pungent bum-grenade
Remained a heinous marinade
The mob, although they’d cleared the room
Still carried that perverse perfume
As if into their clothing sewn
And Big was left there all alone
The memories came flooding back
She hurried to her room to pack
The children’s taunts about her eyes
The fragile mind that magnifies
Derisive verbal sticks and stones
That break the psyche’s brittle bones
The riding school that drowned her dreams
(She cursed tyrannical regimes)
Those nightmares – eighty plus years on
You’d think by now they would have gone –
Still galloped through her dreams at night
With perfect twenty-twenty sight
A riding hood that disappeared
A granny with a fuzzy beard
And spectacles that screamed and yelled
“Get out of here, you are EXPELLED!”
Her daughter’s daughter lived alone
In great-great granny’s house of stone
She’d been there often in her youth
(Her conscious mind suppressed the truth)
Such happy times with dear old gran
Forgetfulness had hatched a plan
She smiled and nodded with a wink
“I think I’ll visit Little Pink”
Her cases packed, her wheelchair greased
She said farewell and headed east
And as she left her rank abode
There came a voice, “Don’t leave the road…”
She caught a taxi into town
And stopped off at the Rose and Crown
For lunch and ordered sauerkraut
And one ginormous Brussels sprout
An uneventful trip by train
Into the country cleared her brain
The lush green trees and singing birds
Appeared too beautiful for words
But as she wheeled herself along
She felt that things were going wrong
Her stomach, an expanding mass
Was filling, once again, with gas
“Oh dear!” she thought, “Good grief, oh no!
I desperately need to go!”
The sauerkraut and Brussels sprout
With their miasma wanted out
When nature calls one can’t delay
One has to answer straight away
“Thank heavens for my wheel-commode!”
Again the words: “Don’t leave the road…!”
And yet, despite the warning voice
She felt she didn’t have a choice
She headed off across a field
Towards the wood where she, concealed,
Could do the elemental deed
With all the necessary speed
And from the depths of her exhaust:
A veritable holocaust!
The leaves turned brown and withered fast
All napalmed by the fetid blast
The skunks held their collective breaths
And pigeons tumbled to their deaths
Oblivious, she trundled off
With neither splutter, sneeze nor cough
“I know a shortcut through the woods
I used when taking Granny’s goods.”
The woodsman, half a mile downwind
Was usually disciplined
But as the sulph’rous odour grew
The dank necrotic air turned blue
Fev’rishly he carved a peg
To quell the pong of rotten egg
Despite the vi’lent stomach churn
He felt he had a wage to earn
And forced himself to take a peek
The landscape made the feller shriek
“Somebody here, I have a hunch,
Had agent orange for their lunch!”
Then through the trees he saw a shape
Trailed by a reddish-purplish cape
Without so much as looking back
She hurtled down the sandy track
Though hurtled isn’t quite the word
That well described this bulging bird
Her wheelchair, although motorised,
Was carrying a supersized
And dangerously heavy load
On tyres designed to drive on-road
That made it difficult to steer
And, sadly, only had one gear
The tortoises she overtook
Gave her a nodding, knowing look
The kind that says “I understand
It’s awful walking through this sand.”
She hadn’t gone back to the road
Her unexpected episode
Made M unfashionably late
She didn’t want Li’l Pink to wait
The path she chose was quicker, but
The cutter knew a shorter cut
And far away a rooster crowed
“Maroon! Please go back to the road…!”
But Big was making up the time –
(Fortunately, else our rhyme
Would not be done by Evensong
Let’s hope that nothing else goes wrong…
But scarcely had I penned the words…)
While she was listening to the birds
All sing in praise of Fairyland
Her wheels sank deep into the sand
She cursed and cried aloud, “Alack!
I wish I’d brought along a snack
With one more bowl of sauerkraut
The wind pow’r just might get me out.”
And from behind a wattle tree
A man of noble ancestry
“Oh dear!” he said, “It seems you’re stuck
What frighteningly rotten luck
Your wheels are spinning round and round
So hazardous, this sandy ground
Perhaps you’ll let me help, my dear
Chop-chop I’ll have you out of here!”
“How nice to find, in time of need,
A gentleman so pedigreed
And I, a damsel in distress,
A lonely widowed baroness.”
“A gentleman is – some surmise
A patient wolf – but in disguise,”
He laughed, “That’s just my little joke
My ancestors were hum’rous folk
My name is Marquis Lupine and
I’d love to push you from the sand
That is, if you don’t mind, of course,
It shouldn’t take a lot of force.”
He stared with Brobdingnagian eyes
At Big and her gargantuan size
The Fairy Fates had planned her plight
He fell, enchanted at first sight
He murmured, “What big eyes you have!
And what enormous thighs you have
Your batwing arms are really hot
I really like your size a lot!”
In half a trice he pushed her out
Then smiled, “I have some sauerkraut
Back at my humble stately home
Made fresh by Ulf, a German gnome.”
And flattered, B.M.W.
Said, “That would be so kind of you
I’m rather peckish, that’s a fact
It’s been some time since last I snacked.”
A shot rang out, the birds took flight
As did her shining-armoured knight
And through the trees the woodsman strode
“You’d be much safer on the road!”
Said he in his headmaster’s voice,
“This shortcut was a dreadful choice
This wood can be a treach’rous place
Go straight to Pinkie while I chase
The ‘Marquis’ – he should be locked up
Good thing, this morning, I stocked up
On shotgun shells for such a time
As this within our pantorhyme
That spiffingly dressed ‘gentleman’
Is one escapee mental man
A patient wolf? – long-toothed and clawed
A patient from a mental ward
Now put your wheelchair into gear
And get the blazes out of here
You hurry straight to Li’l Pink’s hut
While I go catch myself a nut.”
So, grumpily, away she went
No company, no nourishment
At least she hadn’t far to go
She’d be there in an hour or so
And silently she plodded on
Still feeling somewhat woebegone
And looking down, the Fairy Fates
Were giggling, knowing what awaits
At last she reached the final hill
And picked a golden daffodil
“I’m nearly there – I’m on the brink
I’ll soon be hugging Little Pink.”
Up she chugged, half walking pace
Spurred on by thoughts of that embrace
“At times like this I’d not eschew
A real B.M.W!”
She reached the top and felt so blessed
To finally see Li’l Pink’s nest
But footsteps right behind her chair
Sent shivers through her derriere
Vibrations that did not bode well
For one whose gut was wont to swell
And this close to her journey’s end
She didn’t want it to distend
Then, softly, a familiar voice
Whispered, “Big, you have a choice
Come back to my home with me
Or buried on this hill you’ll be…”
Big M could not believe her ears
Of all her deepest, darkest fears
These circumstances were the worst
She slowly turned around and cursed
The marquis looked her in the eye
She heaved a huge life-weary sigh
To see him in a huggy-coat
A knife pressed up against his throat
The woodsman sneered, “This gentleman
Is no escapee mental man,”
And cackling crazily with glee
Continued, “No, that would be me!
My granddad saved you from that beast
But now these woods are not policed
Your heads will hang inside my home
And next to you’ll be Ulf, the gnome
Besides it wasn’t all a lie
He’s just as cuckoo clocks as I
He’s quackers as a sack of geese –
He loves the morbidly obese!”
At this the bits fell into place
Determination grabbed M’s face
He wasn’t just a flatt’ring wolf
And did employ a gnome named Ulf
The marquis’ words chimed in her ear
She slammed her wheelchair into gear
Without so much as looking back
She headed for the downward track
“Just how far do you think you’ll get?
Your wheelchair engine needs a jet!”
The woodsman laughed until he cried
And then … her wheelchair’s battery died
Hysterically he rolled around
His mind becoming more unsound
A situation so absurd
There ought to be a mockingbird
Determination fled M’s face
And desperation took its place
If life were going to improve
She’d have to get the chair to move
The marquis whispered, “Get away!
I’ll try to keep this creep at bay”
In anguish bordering despair
He flung his body at the chair
The wheelchair teetered on the lip
Of movement but it wouldn’t tip
In need of one more little nudge
It stubbornly refused to budge
Then, just as she had feared, a sprout
And remnants of the sauerkraut
Began to gurgle in her tum
And rumble down towards her bum
She couldn’t – not in front of him
The circumstance, already grim,
Apparently could still get worse
Those Fairy Fates were so perverse!
Although she tried to keep it in
The pressure build-up had to win
Her gallant efforts doomed to fail
And out came not a wind – a gale!
She knew she surely would regret
Expelling such a judd’ring jet
The marquis, right behind her chair
Had felt the wind blow through his hair
And “fate” took matters by the scruff
The impetus was just enough
To push the chair towards Pink’s nest
And gravity performed the rest
At first a plod and then a lope
Accelerating down the slope
Faster … faster … faster still
The wheelchair hurtled down the hill
And hurtling was just the word
That well described this panicked bird
The wheelchair’s plummet would outdo
A real B.M.W.
The woodsman’s laughter turned to rage
The kind the sane cannot assuage
His fleeing victim must be stopped
Her head from shoulders must be chopped
A maniac has superstrength
And he will go to any length
To make his evil plans succeed
And so he also picked up speed
Big M thought she was off the hook
But half way down he overtook
And with his axe behind his back
Prepared for combat down the track
The marquis blanched as Big Maroon
Went zooming downwards t’wards the loon
But ten feet from his tapping boot
Her wheelchair struck a wattle root
Big M was catapulted out
As though propelled by sauerkraut
The woodsman eyed her as she flew –
A flying B.M.W!
He watched her gliding through the air
And quite forgot to watch the chair
The soaring, spinning wheel-commode
Percussed his face and dropped its load
The leaves turned brown and withered fast
And, napalmed by the putrid blast,
The woodsman spluttered, coughed and sneezed
Like one incurably diseased
He howled and yelped and ranted so
He could be heard in Mexico
His skin broke out like bubble wrap
At which his last sane thread went ‘SNAP!’
The stinging, searing, scything pain
Would drive a normal man insane
And Woody, marbles long misplaced
Ran backwards up the hill post-haste
But something sneaky snagged his boot
Another wayward wattle root
A rock attacked his falling head
Unconscious, comatose or dead
Comeuppance surely had been met
He got what he deserved – and yet –
Our twisted story twists once more
He opened up his eyes and saw
The brightest light he’d ever seen
He wondered if this might have been
The gateway to the afterlife
An end to madness, strain and strife
Except for one minute detail
The odour was beyond the pale
Assaulted by that awful smell
It dawned on him that this was hell!
He’d no hope of eternal bliss
And as he contemplated this
The Fates, not always ill-inclined
Returned his marbles and his mind
While Big Maroon, still flying high
A Zeppelin in the dark’ning sky
Began her mandat’ry descent
Vituperating as she went
The Fairy fates, still having fun
But sad our tale is nearly done
Arranged things so she would survive
And M performed a swallow dive –
The kind they teach in diving school
And sploshed in Pink’s new swimming pool
Which, luckily, had just been filled
Or M would surely have been killed
Her landing caused a giant spout
As water hurried to get out
She lay there shaken to the core
Marooned upon the concrete floor
And meanwhile down the mountainside
Came Marquis Lupine, still hug-tied
He walked right past the woodsman’s pile
And on his face the broadest smile
With neither splutter, sneeze nor cough
As dignified as any toff
His visage showing no complaint
M marvelled at his self-restraint
Because the overwhelming stink
Was nauseating Little Pink
Two hundred feet or more below
Outside her ancient bungalow
While watching Granny in the pool
(No bearded chin, no dribbly drool
Not like the time when Little Red
Had found a wolf in her gran’s bed
So long ago when gentlemen
Were gentlemen not mental men
And wolves dressed up in Granny’s gear –
A practice we will not judge here –
And tied her up in swathes of twine –
Another taste we won’t malign –
When woodsmen had a moral code
And proudly through the forest strode
To keep the woodland dwellers safe
Specifically one red-caped waif
Who visited her gran’s abode
And always wandered from the road
Some things don’t change, while others do
Like Big M’s frame which grew and grew
And still was lying in the pool
As Marquis Lupine, dripping drool
Came down the hill with gleaming eyes
That focused on her arms and thighs
Not looking where he put his boot –
And tripped upon a wattle root
A jarring jolt that shook the tree
And heightened his indignity
He stumbled and began to roll
Head over heels with no control
And from the trembling tree, the chair
Dropped down and bounced high in the air
And zoomed towards the marquis’ head
To get this far and then get dead
Would be a travesty of luck
Big M and Li’l Pink both screamed, “DUCK!”
Unnecessarily because
The Fates’ control of happ’nings was
– Despite the evidence – complete
The marquis and the travel seat
Rotating perfectly in sync
Connected with a gentle clink
– Disaster by a whisker dodged –
His butt cheeks comfortably lodged
Upon the cushions of the chair
Still somersaulting through the air
Towards the pool, half empty now
M watched his flight with furrowed brow
Larger … larger … larger still
And in his mouth the daffodil
Big M had picked for Little Pink
Before the drama (and the stink)
So long ago that she forgot
But, luckily, the Fates did not
And as he neared at breakneck speed
The chair spun neatly, and indeed,
The Fairy Fates were in control
With one last flashy forward roll
It landed wheels first with a splash
To end his death-defying dash
And with a cottage-shaking thump
The chair’s huge springs absorbed the bump
The daffodil sprang from his mouth
And floated seven metres south
Rotating slowly through the air
And came to rest in Li’l Pink’s hair
The huggy-jacket’s buttons popped
And out he bounced and gently dropped
Upon M’s ample cushioned frame
And life would never be the same
He put his arms across her waist
So eager was he for a taste
Of hugging with his ideal girl
His jewel, his enormous pearl
But Big Maroon, thus deftly pinned,
Produced one final lusty wind
Yet Marquis Lupine didn’t flinch
His face moved not a milli-inch
His smile was just as beamy-broad
M thought it couldn’t be ignored
And looking on, young Little Pink
Was gagging on the feral stink
Incredulous that he just smiled –
It’s not as if the stench was mild
But as he helped her from the pool
His beard was, once more, tinged with drool
His fervent ardour wasn’t quashed
And, happily, the pool had washed
The wheel commode as bright as new
So Big, not knowing what to do
Embarassed and a trifle vexed
Sat meekly wondering what’s next
The introductions done, he turned
To M with eyes, this time, concerned
“Now that you know I’m not a wolf
And do employ a gnome named Ulf
There’s something else that you should know –
If I am to become your beau –
The truth is something I must tell
You see, I have no sense of smell.”
Pink almost fainted on the spot
That certainly explained a lot
And once again the Fairy Fates
Had matched a pair of perfect mates
Maroon’s joy couldn’t be expressed
She hugged him to her heaving breast
And whispered softly in his ear
“You’ll find that that’s an asset here!”
“We’re old and we don’t have much time,”
He said, “To wait would be a crime
I’ve hungered for you all my life
So tell me: Will you be my wife?”
“Oh marquis! Yes, of course I will
To be your wife would be a thrill!”
The woodsman opened up his eyes
“I really should apologise
But, goodness me, I smell obscene
I’ll come back later when I’m clean”
The Fates were, after all, humane
Li’l Pink brought out some French champagne
And as they plan their wedding date
We’ll leave them there to celebrate
The Fairy Fates looked down and sighed
With happy-ever-after pride
“Ahhhh! Soon they will be off to bed
Now, wattle we do next?” they said
And far away a chill wind blew
The Fates had turned to pastures new
And in a tower, looking glum
Ashella knew her time had come…